Friday, May 28, 2010

Grady's birth story

Yes, it's true - Grady is here! I guess I should blog his birth story before I forget the details!

I went to my OB on Wednesday, April 14th, for a check up. As most of you know, I had been contracting since about 25 weeks and was on oral terbutaline and procardia (neither helped). I felt fine, but I had started spotting that week, and was 2 cm dilated so my OB sent me to University Hospital to watch me for a few hours. It was like deja vu because I was 35 weeks when I went into labor with Reagan. But this time was different because the contractions weren't really all that painful. When I was put on the monitors, I was contracting every 4-5 minutes so he gave me subcutaneous terbutaline (which is supposed to work better) and lots and lots of IV fluid. It slowed my contractions down to like every 8 minutes, but then they came back with a vengeance. When I got there I felt fine, but after all that medicine (which makes me jittery and nervous) I felt horrible and the contractions got even closer together - every 2 minutes. So of course I had to be admitted and he started me on magnesium to stop the contractions. I don't know why we even bothered with that because it barely slowed them down at all. But I wanted to give Grady the best possible chance because I was only 34 weeks 6 days and his lungs needed more time to mature. For those of you who have never been on magnesium, let me tell you - it's rough. It makes you really drunk, you can't concentrate, you feel like you're in a daze, you're nauseated, and you're super hot even thought the room is 50 degrees. So all day Thursday (and most of Friday) is a blur to me. I was also started on antibiotics for treatment of possible chorioamnionitis. I felt so bad not being home with Reagan, but she came to visit me everyday, always asked me if I was feeling better and told me she loved me a million times. She's my little sweetie!

Since the magnesium didn't really help, they stopped that and on Friday just gave me frequent doses of terbutaline. While I was sleeping Friday night, a nurse came in and said Grady's heart rate was high and put me on oxygen. Needless to say, I didn't sleep that night worrying about what to do. It seemed like nothing we did stopped the contractions and now the meds we were using were stressing poor little Grady. After lots of prayer, I talked with the OB doc (who wasn't my regular doc) the next morning (Saturday) and we all agreed I would just stop all meds and let him come whenever he wanted. I was given the option to go home at this point, but she really didn't feel comfortable letting me go because even though my cervix didn't change much, the contractions were still at least every 3 minutes.

So we decided to stay another night and see what happened. They moved me to another floor where there was not continuous monitoring and I could move around. We had actually had a good time Saturday evening; Chad, Reagan, Mama, Lynn, and Thomas were there with me and Reagan kept us entertained. Chad played oldies on his BlackBerry and danced with Reagan. I was uncomfortable as the contractions grew stronger and really wanted to sleep good that night, so I told them to give me whatever was ordered that would make me sleepy. I got phenergan, demerol, and ambien and slept all night long. I felt like a million dollars when I got up on Sunday morning, so I was super suprised when the nurse checked me that morning and said my water broke! I was moved back up to the labor and delivery floor. That was around 8:30am. Thankfully Chad had not left yet for church! I put on my makeup and did my hair - I wanted to enjoy the day like I did when Reagan was born! I was only 3 centimeters dilated and not really hurting too bad, but since my labor had progressed so rapidly with Reagan, I went ahead and got my epidural at around 10:30.

It was easily placed by the same guy who did my first one, but I only became numb on my right side. I didn't want him to have to redo it (big mistake) so he just adjusted it a little and then both sides became numb. The waiting began. By around 3pm I was only 5 centimeters.
It was around this time I started feeling my contractions again, so I was given more medicine through the epidural. It didn't help but I figured I was just feeling pressure and didn't really worry about it. Again I was given the option to have the epidural replaced, but I figured the pain wasn't that bad and I didn't want to be a nuisance. Lots of people came to see us, I am totally not modest and loved having company! Reagan was super cuddly, almost as if she knew something was about to change.
By 6pm I was still only 6 centimeters. What was wrong with this little boy? He seemed so eager to come early and now was taking his time! I was told if I hadn't changed my cervix significantly by 7pm, I'd probably have to have a C-section. But I would NOT have let them do a C-section unless Grady was in some sort of distress (which he was not), I believe they do way too many C-sections for failure to progress. Grady was 5 weeks early and vaginal deliveries are much better for preterm babies. By this time, the contractions were really strong, I had all feeling back in my legs and knew my epidural wasn't working, but I didn't think about asking for another one because if I had to have a C-section, I'd much rather have a spinal. My reasoning was super flawed because at 7pm I was 10 centimeters!

I was overjoyed because I knew I probably wouldn't have to have a C-section. But within a few minutes, that joy was gone - this baby was coming and I didn't have a functioning epidural! As his big head made its way down, the pain became brutal. It took the OB doc like 20 minutes to get to the hospital. I wanted to push so bad, but I knew I had to wait. I remember Lynn telling me at first I could scream if I wanted to and I said it felt better to just squeeze someone's hand. After a few more contractions and still no doctor, the screaming and crying began. I felt like the pain was going to kill me. Darn you, Eve, why did you have to eat that fruit!
When the doctor finally got there, I pushed 3 times and Grady was here! He started crying and I was so excited when they told me his one minute APGAR was 9 - that means he was doing really good! I got to hold him for a brief minute before they took him to the nursery. There is no better feeling than to have so much pain one minute, and then the next minute its completely gone and you are holding your baby! I couldn't stop crying and telling him I loved him!

But when they took him to the nursery, he started having a little trouble breathing, so he was taken to the NICU instead and placed on a little CPAP to help him. I had mentally prepared myself for that since he was early and male. But he was 6 pounds 7 ounces (huge for 35 weeks!) and 21 inches long! If he had not had the trouble breathing, I would think my dates were wrong and he was actually born on time! I had some trouble after delivery with uterine atony - my uterus wouldn't contract (how ironic) for me to stop bleeding. I was given both hemabate and methergine (for those of you who know what that is it helps the uterus contract after delivery), but still lost a total of 1 liter of blood (a lot for a vaginal delivery). Also, I developed a mild fever and was put back on antibiotics. I got really lightheaded and dizzy, but overall was ok considering all I had been through. I was sooooooo excited when they said I could go see Grady in the NICU! He had an IV and CPAP was on room air.

I was in awe of this beautiful little creation!

Poor little Reagan only got a glimpse of her baby brother that night so it still didn't seem real to her. Mama took her home so Chad and I could sleep. But I woke up at 2am freezing cold and shaking like a leaf. I had to get Chad to lie next to me in bed because I was so cold. My temp was 102.7 so I was given Tylenol which only brought it down to 101 but I wasn't as cold. Grady's nurse called early the next morning and said he was already off CPAP and just had a little nasal cannula!

BUT my loud mouth nurse told her I had a fever. I was immediately banned from the NICU for 24 hours after my last temperature. I was so mad even though I knew it was better for Grady AND all the other little babies who were much sicker than mine. It was so depressing to not be able to see or hold your newborn! It seemed like that day Grady got better and I got worse. He was off all oxygen by Monday afternoon. I started having diarrhea like you wouldn't believe and the fever continued. Tests came back that I had C diff, a bacteria you get after being on antibiotics for an extended period of time. I was started on treatment for that, but it took 2 days for the fever and diarrhea to go away. I lost most of my baby weight during those 2 days! It was absolutely miserable - I would have much rather run to lose that weight. I was still quaranteened from the NICU. In fact, I couldn't give him the milk I was pumping because of my fever. Do you know how depressing it is to have to dump colostrum (liquid gold) down the sink??? Chad got to feed Grady his first bottles (of formula - EW but I had no choice).
He had a little bit of jaundice, so was placed under the lights for a while. Again, not surprising for a preterm infant.

I was really depressed (and I mean REALLY) monday and tuesday because I didn't get to see my baby. Would he even recognize me? Why did I have to get sick? Why was everything going wrong? I felt like I was a horrible mother because I was being of no use to either Reagan or Grady. Looking back I realized how blessed I was that I have a healthy baby, but at the time I was really down. But God heard my pleas and knew I couldn't handle much more, so things started getting lots better. God promises not to put on us more than we can bear and He knows I am weak and can't bear much! On Wednesday they moved him to my room! He got to stay with me all the time because I was on contact precautions due to the C diff and Grady couldn't go back and forth to the well baby nursery. I loved that part!
That day I was very stingy and wanted to be the only one to hold that sweet boy! I was sooooo in love! I kissed those sweet little cheeks of his a million times!

He was such a good baby! I was so worried that because he had a bottle for 2 days he would not know how to nurse. I was wrong - he latched on immediately and has not had any problems nursing! So far, he has not had an additional drop of formula. =) The next morning he was circumcised and hardly cried at all. We were so excited - they told us we could both go home that day!
What a blessing to have 2 healthy beautiful children!

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